I like to be in America!

We’re lucky enough to be away in Florida over the New Year and the Three Kings Celebration’s. We’ve headed out to Miami, Key West, Islamorada and Orlando. At the time of writing we’re leaving Islamorada and heading to Orlando. 

I noticed that the Hotels I stayed in had their own version of the Tourist Tax. 

In Miami it was disguised as Valet parking, we were charged $45 a night at our hotel, the alternative was 4 blocks away and quite a long walk back and that’s if you actually could get parked. 

In Key West it was called a resort charge of $33.75 a night which included free parking, daily bottles of water in the room and free WiFi. 

In Islamorada it was $31.50 which includes free parking and free WiFi. 

In Orlando it was $25.00 parking fee which includes free WiFi, a free water taxi to the Universal Park entrances and the park opens its doors 1 hour before the general public can enter. 

After a bit of research these resort charges are very common here but are not without problems as some hotels resort charge is higher than what they originally charged for the room. Complaints are that these charges are hidden until you get deep into the booking process. It seems that the hotels are going down the route of charging as little as they can for the rooms and all the things you thought were included are added into the resort charge. Does this remind you of anything? Well you don’t have to look too far as this is exactly what the airlines do now. Book your flight and add on choose your seat, meal, baggage, insurance etc after you’ve been hooked by the cheap flight price.

How long is it before we see this hotel practice in Mallorca? 

So these charges do exist in other resorts, it’s just that here in the States the hotels benefit from it and not the Government. Which is probably why in Mallorca they are so opposed to it. The name doesn’t really help as the word Tax immediately puts people’s backs up. Income Tax, Value Added Tax(VAT), Capital Gains Tax are all names we hate to hear. Maybe they should look to divide the tax 50/50 with the hotels with a law that says the income gained must be used for hotel improvements? The current spend of the Tourist Tax is questionable as it’s supposed to be distributed into various environmental projects throughout Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. A Commission on Sustainable Tourism was set up to decide together with existing organisations how the money is to be spent each year. The main issues are environmental restoration, improving the quality of tourism offering, improving infrastuctures for future tourism, promotional projects, cultural heritage projects, research, development and the improvement of job quality (including educational aspects) within the Balearic Islands. Firstly some of the projects could be deemed outside of the Tourist market and secondly, I think we all know it’s to prop up money that’s not received from Central Government. 

After our nightmare journey to the Uk our Christmas celebrations with family and friends were great. Must give a shoutout to Malcolm Wyse who looked after us at the Bedford Swan Hotel. Some of you may remember him from Reads Hotel in Santa Maria and he’s the General Manager in Bedford now. We also had a football reunion of my old Team Ware FC. Is it me or have nicknames disappeared? We had Lemon, Cheeky & Skin amongst others but you don’t hear them much these days. Beer, football & laughs brought us together and still keeps us together! Miami was great, we lived there for 3 months when Pirates took the show there. We met up with our old PR guy from the show José Boza who I’ve kept in touch with. We met at an Irish bar that was home to the Miami Arsenal supporters club and the watched our team get gubbed 5-1 by Liverpool! We had great New Year celebrations in Key West and we managed to make it to Midnight. It’s steeped in great history and to be honest our 2 days there wasn’t enough. Islamorada is a lovely relaxing area and the weathers been great. We’re just leaving on a 5 hour road trip to Orlando. We’re looking forward to spending time in the Universal Studios theme parks and shopping in the outlet malls.

10 things that I don’t like about America.

  1.   Security at the airport is a nightmare.

  1. Valet parking is a total rip.
  2. The resort charge.

  4.  How can they call their bacon, bacon?

  1. The Tv is rubbish and too many commercial breaks.
  2. Some restaurant or bar bills add a service charge and then ask for a tip!
  3. They also give you examples of what you should tip starting at 18%!
  4. Why does it take 3 hours for a 1 hour game of American football?
  5. Their coffee is rubbish.
  6. You can’t get to or find anything without Sat Nav.

10 things that I love about America.

  1. The theme parks are amazing.
  2. The majority of people are very friendly. 
  3. The chicken wings.
  4. Hooters(gave it a miss this time!)
  5. The weather has been great.
  6. The WiFi is good.
  7. Service is on the whole very good.
  8. Outlet shopping is amazing.
  9. Football or soccer as they call it is a lot more popular. 
  10. As a family holiday destination I would thoroughly recommend it.

Real Mallorca return to action this weekend with an away game in Almería. They are at home the week after against relegated Deportivo La Coruña. Currently in 8th place they certainly can make the play-offs. My boys have another week before they restart their football.

Enjoy your weekend and wishing you all a Happy 3 Kings Day on Sunday!

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone, Android, The Tunein Radio App and on the Spanish TDT TV service. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! 

Feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com

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